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About the StoryAdmiral Copeland entrusted you with a mission to bring a pirate to trial. En-route the pirate's band attacks, boards your ship and kills your crew, throwing you into the brig. But you're not going to let that stop you from completing your mission are you? [blurb from IF Comp 2008]
Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Setting; Nominee, Best Puzzles - 2008 XYZZY Awards
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Number of Reviews: 2
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What makes the game a standout is how many and interesting are your options once you've escaped confinement. The ship has a lot of different features -- weapons, navigation, abilities to shut off parts of the ship from one another, etc. -- and there are a number of different ways to use all those features to produce different outcomes. So the main part of the game feels not so much as though you're working through a stack of set puzzles, but as though you're really coming to grips with a complex system and then inventing ways to use it against the pirates. This is hugely satisfying. To make this work, the Ceres has been designed in a lot of detail (feelies for the game include a very classy-looking diagram of the ship, which is useful).
Detractors have noted some lack of polish in certain areas (actually, the game gets sturdier after you leave the first couple of rooms, contrary to the general trend of IF games), and there appear to be a couple of puzzle solutions that produce buggy results. (Spoiler - click to show)In particular, trying to escape in the lifeboats may kill you even though by rights you ought to be getting away, or so it seems -- and you can still be killed by the pirates in person if you rig the sleeping gas then escape by lifeboat, even though you should have left them far behind. With luck, these aspects will be improved in a future release of the game.
Even with more polish, Piracy will always be a bit derivative as a story. The world-building relies a lot on tropes from popular SF, and at that it's more Star Trek than Firefly. Your crewmates get some passing attention, enough to make them seem less like ciphers, but you won't be interacting too much with most of them.
But then, story isn't the main point of this game. It's meant to be fun and challenging, and it is. I found myself constantly on the edge of getting stuck... and constantly having that "well, let me just try THIS ONE THING" thought before I completely gave up. Despite some gameplay remnants of a much earlier age (an instant death room, randomized combat sequences), overall Piracy 2.0's design works very well. I would love to play more games that had a similarly rich, open-ended challenge -- one that didn't really feel like a "puzzle" (with all the artificial implications) at all.
After a brief, linear opening sequence, the game opens up into a large map, on a ship (the feelies include a diagram of the ship). Random encounters happen, but I saw no timers at work. You have a dozen or more options for overcoming the Pirates, and you can basically select completely different routes each time.
I wasn't completely into the game, so after exploring every room and checking things out, I went to the walkthrough for one possible solution (of which there are many). I enjoyed it. This is a game requiring a lot of exploration and experimentation if you want to solve it on your own.
I recommend the beginning to everyone, and then that you decide on your own if you want to continue.
If you enjoyed Piracy 2.0...
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PollsThe following polls include votes for Piracy 2.0:
Best sci-fi games by Ant-Fan
I'm looking for games from the sci-fi genre. I would prefer classic-style games, even if they're not classics (such as 'Across The Stars') because one of my all-time favorites is Planetfall, but really, anything goes.
Once More, With Feelies by Ghalev
I'm polling to learn of modern (post-commercial-era) IF that revels in the tradition of providing additional documentation & related materials which are evocative and deepen your enjoyment of the game. What games have gone that extra...
This is version 10 of this page, edited by Sean Huxter on 30 May 2011 at 12:00pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item